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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Aug 18, 2010 9:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

I think playing larger venues had a big impact on the playing. Bob certainly made a more conscious effort to entertain, with lots of unnecessary vocal strain. And maybe this is obvious, but there may have been more (perceived or not) demand to hear "favorites" played ad infinitum, with less new material as time went on.

I'll go out on a limb - with a slight hijack here. (Probably already discussed here before my time.) For me, the sound and playing changed dramatically, and maybe detrimentally, with the "upgrades" to the guitars. I much prefer the guitars up until 78-79. Not a fan of the "synth" sound, especially from Weir - makes his wonderful chords disappear into ether. Yeah, I understand Garcia going for fresh and specific tones... but the music suffered. And yeah, I know lots of people love the sound of Tiger, but I'll take Alligator or the Travis Bean anytime.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Aug 18, 2010 9:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

I also prefer the earlier sound , bu to hijack my own thread (again) , I wonder how the change in sound had to do with hearing loss, and the need to hear oneself better onstage, than artistic taste ? Besides the guitars, Phil went from a relatively rich sound to a cleaner sound as time went on . Was this a result of him getting closer to the sound he wanted all along, or a change in taste, or the ability to hear ?
All those years on stage must have dented their hearing . I have herd vague , maybe anti-Weir bullshit, rumors that Weir is partially tone deaf .
The famous conductor Toscanini's hearing loss, might have made him prefer to record in extremely dry sound of NBC Studio 8H ( now home to SNL) , that make his late recording hard on the ear . I wonder if our boys have ever been tested . I cant' help thinking of that photo from 68, at the Orange County Fairgrounds ( near here ) with them leaning into their amps, for feedback, and Phil is is plugging one ear, as in "ouch"!

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Aug 18, 2010 11:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

According to McNally's book, they all suffered hearing loss to some extent in the later years. That supposedly was the original reason that they tried replacing the stage monitors with the in ear monitors in the early 90s.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 18, 2010 10:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

Hey thanks for that info, uj; I wasn't aware that marks the time of significant shift in tone, and such...it also marks the time of "my decline" in attendance, which terminated in 82. To be honest, though, for me it was cause the venues were so large, I thought JG was declining, etc., but interesting to read what you describe as I had no idea...

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 18, 2010 2:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

My last show was in 87. Many of the older fans stopped going. I mean I just didn't want to see them in a stadium after having been to shows in a theater. Stadiums are for sports, not music. So you loose the older fussy fans. Who are you appealing to now and what do you play for them? How would most of the Touch era folks responded to a 30 minute Dark Star or Playing In The Band. At least where I lived in the midwest shows started to take on some of the flavor of a frat party or sports event. More frat type people going, not as many freaks or outsiders (many of these in the 80's were into punk) or back to landers. The band for a bit was part of the mainstream, was this something they were going to push against by going out there and trying something vastly new?

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 18, 2010 6:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

I feel really lucky in that almost all of my shows were either, as described above, Type 1 or Type 2 venues -- theaters or larger-but-still-not-overwhelming places. I only saw them in a stadium once, I think, and it felt rather alienating, honestly. I enjoyed myself, but ... I hadn't seen them very often for years, and it was so strange to feel part of a huge crowd with the band way off in the distance and, I think, shown on monitors.

That had to change the way they played. (After all, one of the reasons given for going to Egypt was that their music changed depending on the place.) I guess it would be hard to separate out exactly WHAT difference it would be, though, given all the other changes at the same time: tiredness, drugs, plain old change and maturing, crowd changes, the synth sounds, etc.

I also don't like the synth sounds as much, but still do like the early 80s sounds; I like the modulus, for instance, but I'm not up on all the different guitars over the years, or the various keyboards -- except for not liking Brent's tinky-wink synth sound but liking his organ sound. By the 90s it seems WAY too synthesized, but I can't say why, exactly. Would love to know who changed to what instrument when; maybe I could educate my unsophisticated ears a bit!

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 19, 2010 8:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

AltheaRose you wrote "Would love to know who changed to what instrument when; maybe I could educate my unsophisticated ears a bit!" Check out Grateful Dead Gear - The Band's Instruments, Sound Systems, and Recording Sessions, From 1965 to 1995 by Blair Jackson, one of my favorite Dead books.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 18, 2010 2:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

1 in 10K come for the show , HR . Maybe its always been that way to certain extent .
I am a touch head ( who was into 'punk' music ) , and was along for the party .
At first . And I was not alone , by far . And it didn't take long before many T-heads had the GD hunger . There was so much to learn . So much history . It was compelling .
It's always the first to join a club to be the most ready to enforce the 'rules' . We were complaining that the scene had lost something by '89 !
I do think many vets saw post TOG and headed for the hills . The scene missed that presence .
I would love a 46'PITB . I did see a 21 1/2' Terrapin > MLBJ . I hope that counts . ;)

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 18, 2010 5:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

I thought it was kind of cool that lots of new young folks were getting into the band, it was too big for me and just didn't have the magic it used to. But it just seemed to me also that a higher % of the people showing up were just plain rude or mean, "Are you kind", not a part of it. After all a culture had built up for about 22 years and was invaded. But people as a whole were just getting ruder everywhere. When one door closes another opens and for me this meant seeing lots of blues shows by many of the greats that are now gone. Started to go to Dead spin-offs in late 90's, P and F, Other Ones, etc. and the crowd seemed to have much more of that old happy spirit than the late 80's crowd. Pretty much all heads and friendly smiling ones at than.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 18, 2010 5:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did playing larger venues, change the music played ?

Simpatico , HR